Load carrying - in panniers or on your back?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
james01
Posts: 2048
Joined: 6 Aug 2007, 4:48am

Load carrying - in panniers or on your back?

Postby james01 » 26 Sep 2008, 4:08pm

Just finished reading an interesting article in Oct/Nov Cycle Magazine p.20 about an offroad tour in the Western Highlands. The cyclists carried tents & supplies in backpacks, which seems to be standard advice these days for offroad. I understand the point about the odd white-knuckle section being easier with an unencumbered bike. I think I'd prefer to struggle with a laden bike on the occasional technically challenging bits. The thought of 40 lbs-odd of extra "bodyweight" pressing down on the saddle via my back, mile after mile brings tears to my eyes.
Any views on "bike versus back" ?

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15161
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Postby Si » 26 Sep 2008, 4:53pm

was mentioned inthe thread in the Toruing Section....

you'll find that most polaris riders use backpack rather than on bike for the loads. it just makes the bike so much more manuvurable.

as I said on the other thread, when I did a similar ride round the Lakes with soem mates, I had load in a large saddle bag on a rack, they had their in ruck sacks.

On fire roads, proper roads, long steady climbs on smoothish surfaces, etc I got on much better.
On technical stuff, narrow stuff, getting around trees and bushes, fast DHs of road, lifting over gates and pushing through bogs they got on much better.

Horses for courses I guess, you have to consider the route and work out just how much technical stuff there is and which system will suit best.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50334
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Postby Mick F » 26 Sep 2008, 9:21pm

I was out a week or two ago, and paused for a breather in Launceston town centre. A chap, obviously a cyclist, was there with a large back-pack strapped across his shoulders. I asked him where he was off to. "JOG" came the reply - "off road!"

He had taken 3 days to get there, and was hoping to make Okehampton that night, following tracks and trails. He had shorts on and was cut to ribbons "from Cornish brambles", he said. "How long before JOG", I asked. "Dunno, perhaps another 3 or 4 weeks."

But he had a back pack on!
Now I see why.
Mick F. Cornwall

iaincullen
Posts: 153
Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 11:43am

Postby iaincullen » 28 Sep 2008, 3:41pm

I do mountainbike touring and don't use a rucksac. I use a mixture of tarmac, tracks, and short sections of singletrack. Pretty simlar to the route described. I use either 2 panniers or if the percent of pushing is going to be more than minimal I use 1 pannier on the non pushing side of the bike and the top of the rackto carry heavy stuff, and a rucsac to carry light stuff.

Full camping gear on my back? Not for me.

tb
Posts: 129
Joined: 10 Jan 2007, 12:51pm

Postby tb » 28 Sep 2008, 10:08pm

this is something I've been struggling with ( literally! ) for years.

I commute 16 miles to work and 16 return. I have to carry change of clothes and 'other stuff' which amounts to fairly heavy rucksack or alternately a lighter rucksack and one pannier bag to share the load.
Recently I have been carrying all the gear in a rucksack because I can ride the bike faster over the distance and it's more fun riding, however the cost is that the aches and pains of carrying a load on your back become apparent only once you're off the bike and are trying to relax in the evening ( or kill the pain with a single malt )
In conclusion, I don't like panniers. If you enjoy riding at a good pace and you have to carry gear then you also have to put up with the discomfort !
good luck
Tony

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 3076
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Postby CJ » 29 Sep 2008, 12:56pm

It never ceases to amaze me: the amount of trouble and pain that "serious" cyclists will put up with in order not to look like a tourist!

Backpacks have their place, for carrying a minimum of necessities when mountain-biking in difficult terrain. For everything else I'd rather let the bike take the strain: it has wheels on already!

I've heard of two people recently who've walked around the world or something like. In both cases they walked across two or three countries before it ocurred to them to buy a children's pushchair so as to get the load off their backs!

Says it all really.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

kwackers
Posts: 15039
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Postby kwackers » 29 Sep 2008, 1:01pm

CJ wrote:I've heard of two people recently who've walked around the world or something like. In both cases they walked across two or three countries before it ocurred to them to buy a children's pushchair so as to get the load off their backs!

Says it all really.


A trailer then?

Whilst not much use on the rough, doing road touring would it not be better to use a trailer?

Hmm - there's already going to be a thread about this somewhere isn't there...

minkie
Posts: 348
Joined: 27 Jul 2007, 7:11pm
Location: Sale

Postby minkie » 29 Sep 2008, 1:03pm

[quote="tb"]you also have to put up with the discomfort !/quote]

And the sweaty back.....
And raising your centre of gravity (even) higher....

WesBrooks
Posts: 247
Joined: 7 May 2007, 4:56pm
Location: Merseyside

Postby WesBrooks » 29 Sep 2008, 1:04pm

I take a maximum of about 10kg on rides up to 4hrs on my back. I feel tired, and know I have had the rucksac on. I have had panniers on my last bike a couple of years ago and didn't like the way it made my bike feel. I would like to try a trailer, as hopefully this will keep my bike feeling manouverable but just more sluggish under acceleration and braking. One or two wheels is something I haven't decided on yet!

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15161
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Postby Si » 29 Sep 2008, 1:09pm

A trailer then?

Whilst not much use on the rough


You'd be surprised!

Peyote
Posts: 185
Joined: 16 May 2007, 5:35pm

Postby Peyote » 29 Sep 2008, 1:27pm

Si wrote:
A trailer then?

Whilst not much use on the rough


You'd be surprised!


Si's right, something like this:

http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/trailer ... duct_id=11

Would be great for carrying loads over some rooty singletrack. Bit pricey at the moment, but it's only a matter of time before Edinburgh Bike Coop, or someone similar, brings out a sub £200 version!

fatboy
Posts: 3455
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 1:32pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Postby fatboy » 29 Sep 2008, 1:36pm

Peyote wrote:
Si wrote:
A trailer then?

Whilst not much use on the rough


You'd be surprised!


Si's right, something like this:

http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/trailer ... duct_id=11

Would be great for carrying loads over some rooty singletrack. Bit pricey at the moment, but it's only a matter of time before Edinburgh Bike Coop, or someone similar, brings out a sub £200 version!


What like this?
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly

Peyote
Posts: 185
Joined: 16 May 2007, 5:35pm

Postby Peyote » 29 Sep 2008, 1:43pm

fatboy wrote:
Peyote wrote:
Si's right, something like this:

http://www.bobgear.com/trailers/trailer ... duct_id=11

Would be great for carrying loads over some rooty singletrack. Bit pricey at the moment, but it's only a matter of time before Edinburgh Bike Coop, or someone similar, brings out a sub £200 version!


What like this?


Similar, but if you look at the BoB one it's got shock mounted between the trailer body and the wheel. It's the BoB Ibex, rather than the BoB Yak. The Revolution Trailer (above) is a copy of the BoB Yak, they (EBC) have yet to produce one of the Ibex... ...yet!

Lawrie9
Posts: 1011
Joined: 4 Oct 2007, 11:23am
Location: Powys, Wales, UK

Postby Lawrie9 » 29 Sep 2008, 2:11pm

It is very bad practice and damaging to your health to cycle long distances and in particular to go off roading on a mountain bike with a laiden rucksack.
By the end of the day your your muscles, joints and tendons will be very sore. Far better to fit a pannier / luggage rack and strap down your gear even for mountain biking. You can get good hooked elastics on any market which used to be used for securing stuff on car roof racks. I would like to see all mountain bikes fitted with a rack and most will never see any mud or mountains. This is why we see more people riding with ruck sacks. I fitted a carrier to my mtb and it was the best thing I did. I say chuck the ruck and fit a rack. You know it makes sense!

User avatar
CJ
Posts: 3076
Joined: 15 Jan 2007, 9:55pm

Postby CJ » 29 Sep 2008, 2:45pm

WesBrooks wrote:I had panniers on my last bike a couple of years ago and didn't like the way it made my bike feel.

Call me a selfish barsteward, but I don't really care how the bike feels!
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.